Brittney Griner’s comeback from 10 months in Russian captivity was a success and an inspiration from the first moment she stepped on the court in 2023.

Now it’s been officially acknowledged as one for the history books as this week, Griner was named by the Associated Press as one of two WNBA Comeback Players of the Year. The longtime Phoenix Mercury standout shared the honor with the Minnesota Lynx’s Napheesa Collier.

During the 2023 season, Griner averaged 17.5 points per game and grabbed 195 rebounds while making the eighth All-Star Game of her career.

Then there was the spine-tingling introduction from her first home opener back in front of a Phoenix crowd…

Honestly, the AP could’ve just stopped the season and given her the award then and there. If that clip doesn’t give you chills, consult a neurologist.

Unfortunately, the Mercury couldn’t ride that emotion during the season and struggled to a 9-31 record. Nonetheless, Griner’s performance and determination to play out the year so soon after enduring months of trauma was praised by management and teammates alike.

Mercury GM Nick U’Ren summed up their feelings when he lauded, “I think she deserves a tremendous amount of credit for getting through the season and playing as well as she did. Considering what she’s been through, it’s really remarkable.

“There’s no human on this earth that can identify with what she’s been through. For her to play an entire WNBA season on the heels of that is as admirable as it gets, so I’m amazed and thankful to have watched it.”

Now a free agent heading into 2024, Griner made it clear that her first choice is to re-sign with the Mercury. “Phoenix is home. It’s where I’ve been. Me and my wife literally just got a place [here]. This is it,” she declared.

Along with Mercury teammate Diana Taurasi, Griner also expressed hope to join the US Olympic Team for the Paris 2024 Games, asserting, “If I get the invite, I’m going to show up, of course.

“There’s no greater honor than playing for the USA, playing for your country. I’ve got some really good memories with Team USA, so I would love the chance to continue that.”

If that happens, it will be another step on a brilliant and unprecedented comeback.